LED Lights in a Workshop

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gwrdriver
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LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by gwrdriver » Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:27 pm

The 2x4 lay-in florescent lights (4 units x 4-tube) in my workshop ceiling are fading with age, as are my eyes, and I was recently in a sports facility which had been re-lamped with 2x4 LED fixtures and the difference in light level and quality was astounding. I now want to re-lamp my workshop with 2x4 LED units.
Anyone have any experience with these?
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Nashville TN

jscarmozza
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by jscarmozza » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:38 pm

I'm slowly changing my fluorescent tubes to LEDs. There are different types of LEDs depending on what you want to do, I cut out the ballasts and run them directly on 120 volt, others run through the ballast but I understand that they aren't as efficient. If you go with 120 volt, only one end of the LED tube is hot and the line and neutral connection matters as the tubes have an L and N contact. Also,if your fluorescent fixture has shunted lamp holders, you'll have to replace them with the non-shunted type. Shunted lamp holders are used with instant start ballast, if you are not sure of what you have talk to an electrician. The LEDs are far better than the fluorescent tubes, instant start in cold weather, no flicker, more light and only about 40% of the amp draw. After you do one, you'll be an expert, it takes me about 15 minutes to convert a fixture.

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gwrdriver
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by gwrdriver » Wed Feb 22, 2017 4:06 pm

Thanks. So you replaced the tubes, not the entire fixture? I've only just started looking, so far at LED panels, but re-tubing certainly would be easier.
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jscarmozza
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by jscarmozza » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:27 pm

Yes, I have just been retrofitting my existing fixtures, the tubes that I have been buying cost about $16.00 each. I also found that I don't need anymore than two tubes per fixture since the LEDs produce more light. Keep in mind that the light intensity will deteriorate with time, but it's a pretty long period of time. There is also a top and bottom to the tubes, you have to orient them in the fixture so the light shines out, but all that is pretty obvious when you get into it. You should also get stickers with the tubes to advise that the fixture has been altered.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:30 pm

I put LED's in my garage a while back (late 2015). I had to go up and alter every fixture, bypassing the ballasts. It was a pain, but I only had to do it once.

I used to have bulbs crap out in a few months. Now I have lights that work every time I flip the switch, instantly. Not one has failed. I don't have to worry about bad ballasts. After around 16 months, the lights are much brighter than fluorescents, and the whole garage consumes a whopping 120 watts.

LED tubes are now down to under $10 each.

Someone tried to tell me I was going to have a hard time telling one color from another under LED light. Never happened. Best lighting decision I could have made. Before I got these things, I was working in dim light even when my fluorescents worked, and I had to get on the ladder several times a year to replace dead bulbs. Disposing of them was a chore, too. You will love LED tubes.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:32 pm

Do it before someone who doesn't know anything tries to talk you out of it.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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ctwo
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by ctwo » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:52 pm

SteveHGraham wrote:Do it before someone who doesn't know anything tries to talk you out of it.
But I have like 50 bulbs.

Now, one of my ballasts started to buzz and it got louder and louder until I was sure something was going to explode and unplugged it. What would happen to that thing if I let it go?
Standards are so important that everyone must have their own...
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SteveHGraham
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:04 pm

Fifty bulbs? How big is your shop? I have six, and it's like a tanning booth.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

Russ Hanscom
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by Russ Hanscom » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:35 pm

Just finished converting my workshop to LEDs as the old bulbs were starting to go.

No comparison -the LEDs are brighter and use 1/4 the power - do it! Takes a few minutes per fixture to bypass the ballast - no big deal.

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ctwo
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by ctwo » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:15 pm

There are nine double bulb fixtures. Two cases (24ea) of spare bulbs.

So now we can just bypass the ballast and wire 120V straight to the ends of the tubes?
Standards are so important that everyone must have their own...
To measure is to know - Lord Kelvin
Disclaimer: I'm just a guy with a few machines...

John Hasler
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by John Hasler » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:44 pm

ctwo wrote:
SteveHGraham wrote:Do it before someone who doesn't know anything tries to talk you out of it.
But I have like 50 bulbs.

Now, one of my ballasts started to buzz and it got louder and louder until I was sure something was going to explode and unplugged it. What would happen to that thing if I let it go?
The thermal cutout in the ballaslt would open up if it overheated. They can keep on making that racket for a long time, though.

Go with the LEDs.

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steamin10
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Re: LED Lights in a Workshop

Post by steamin10 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:24 am

Being olde school, I used flourescent in much of my house, to keep it efficient. I also had spare (salvaged) units and bulbs. Time marches on. Now that the initial trial period is about over, and production has improved, I am swayed to begin an upgrade and try to reduce my energy consumption in the abode and work spaces. About 60% flourescent with a few edison base in ceiling fixtures.

I will try my work space first, that is the lower level, recessed twin units in the ceiling. The train room has down spots, 6 of them, and burn out often. I dunno if they make a down looking led that will fill the bill here, as all these are canned lights. Normal led types emit to the sides. I use 40 watt in these, and get good spread. I wonder what the led style will do. An easy trial, but with standard shaped bulbs.

I have an energy bill hat averages just short of $300 per month on average, so cost cutting may show up quickly, if it is real. It works out that a 50% savings on a $180 eclectric bill is $90 a month over time. So the first c- note out of pocket will pay for further improvements, and after about 3-4 months, harvest real savings. I cant believe it to be that good, but we will see as a $400 investment in improved lighting is not that big a deal, whne the money is outgoing anyway.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
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